Saturday, January 08, 2005

Medium Risk Viruses Up 130% in 2004

Computer virus attacks reaching a Medium Risk assessment or higher dramatically increased to 46 in 2004, compared with only 20 in 2003.

"The rise in viruses, worms, Phishing, adware and vulnerability exploitation surpassed what was noted last year," said McAfee Vice President Vincent Gullotto. "

Although we saw a steady 5% (year over year) decrease in the rate of virus production from 2000 to 2003, we saw an increase in 2004 that can be partly attributed to Bagle and Netsky virus authors feuding, as well as a general lack of awareness in regards to adware and other such programs."

Within the first half of 2004, 50 new computer viruses (of varying risk assessments) were discovered daily.

Phishing Threats Increasing, Too
As reported by the Anti-Phishing Working Group, an industry association McAfee recently joined to help fight identity theft and fraud, 176 unique new phishing attacks—spam attempts to fool users into divulging financial information on phony websites—were reported in January 2004. By June 2004, that number skyrocketed to a 1,422.

Expect More Spyware & Adware in 2005
McAfee expects adware and unwanted content, transmitted via email and the Web, to increase in 2005, with threats becoming increasingly complex as they combine spam and Phishing. Worse, spyware-installing spam will also threaten users.

Find Out More
Read McAfee's latest news release here.

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